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Articles tagged with: Growing Up

{The Ordinary Moments} #17 - A Milestone Day.

on Sunday, 08 December 2013.

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This past week we have had a very big thing happen in a little lady's world- she had her first settling in session at nursery.  

When I went back to work when Mads was eleven months old, we were in the fortunate position that two dear family friends and my Mum looked after her for the three days I was away.  This continued for the next fourteen months until I went on maternity leave with LL, and I can't thank them enough for having my big girl for me.

This time around our situation has changed, in all aspects.  In regards to work, that's a story for another time, but in terms of childcare we have had to decide on what to do with Mads and LL.  We looked at a couple of pre-schools but due to a number of different reasons we have enrolled both Mads and LL in nursery two short days a week from 9.00am - 2.30pm.  LL will start settling in sessions in January ready to start properly in February, but Mads had her first one last Thursday.

I was so nervous about taking her.  She has always been quite independent but recently she has developed a sense of fear about certain things. We chatted about it in the car, and she insisted on wearing her sunglasses which I thought was funny.  We walked in and straight away she was fine.  I thought I would have to stay a while the first time round, but within five minutes I was out the door.  

I walked outside to my car, and had to hold back the tears.  I put my hands on the wheels and realised they were shaking.  I know that babies go to nursery a lot earlier than she has, but it's a big step for me to leave her with someone other than family and friends who love her as much as I do.  

She is only there two hours at a time until the end of December, but when I went to pick her up, she was sat at a little table doing some painting without a care in the world.  I walked in and she looked a mixture of embarrassed and happy to see me, and I had to drag her home because she didn't want to leave.  I got the most gorgeous reindeer painting, which she was so incredibly proud to tell me about as soon as I walked in the door.  I honestly will treasure it forever and it's happily got prime position on our kitchen cabinet.

I am so proud of my big girl, and although we may have a few wobbles along the way, I can tell that she will be very happy there, and will thrive.  She is growing up so fast, and although it is just nursery, it feels like I am letting her go just a little bit.  It sounds silly but it is a big step for me.  I don't know what on earth I am going to do when LL goes in January!  

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The Application.

on Monday, 10 June 2013.

Last week I picked up a thin green folder with 4 sheets of A4 paper in it.  

Mads pre school application.

At 2 and a half, she can't actually go to our local pre school until 2 years nine months, but due to limited spaces it is best to get the application form in as soon as you can.  

I wasn't aware just quite how much this green folder would stir up strange emotions in me.

I want Mads to go to pre school, I really do.  I have been without her occasionally since she was 11 months old when I returned to work.  I worked three days a week and Mads went to my mum and two incredibly wonderful family friends.  She still does a day and a half a week.

I am used to being without her, I am happy to go on the occasional night away from her (4 times in her little life so far) but pre-school?  

Well that's something else.

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Time is going so fast.  Having our lovely LL seems to have reinforced this even more.  It's almost as if LL's arrival has made Mads appear even more grown up overnight.  She is growing that little bit taller, speaking that little bit more, and learning to do new things every day.  

Compared to her little sister, she seems so big.

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At 2 and a half, her baby days are well and truly behind us.  I don't see a baby when I look at her anymore. I don't even see a toddler.

I see a little girl.  

And with that little girl I see a glimpse of the future.  Of learning to let her go, just a little at a time.

There will be pre-school.  Then there will be school.  She will lose some of her innocence that makes her who she is.  My little girl who has never ever so much as lashed out at another child.  My little girl who believes in the Easter Bunny, in Father Christmas and who dances around the room to the Bubble Guppies theme tune.

My little girl who sucks her fingers and plays with the ears of whoever will let her when she is tired and needing a comfort.

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My little girl who truly believes her Mummy and Daddy are superheros who can do anything.

My little girl who needs her Mummy when she is sad.

My kind hearted, innocent, brave little person who knows nothing of the bad things that can happen in the world.  Who dances naked and shakes her 'bum bum' and who has no issues with body image or confidence.  Who hasn't got a bad bone in her little body.

I have a huge desire to wrap her up in cotton wool and never let her go.  At times I wish I had a large stopwatch that was capable of slowing down time, or even stop it.  To keep my babies the age they are now.  To stop them growing so quickly.

But I can't do that.  

I have to let my big girl take her first steps into the world.  I have to let her go, even slightly, and let her be Mad's.  To find out who she is.  To grow, to learn and to develop into the person she is going to be.

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When I hand that small green folder back into our local preschool next week, I need to remember how I am feeling at this moment.  

I need to remember to treasure every single moment with my girls.  Even the everyday moments- the naked dancing, the silly giggles and the tired cuddles.  The little bruised legs poking out underneath her pink tutu and the way her curls bounce when she runs.

I need to fill our days with fun, love and happiness.  So that when she is grown up she can remember these days we spent together, however distant and long ago they may seem.

I need to learn to let her go, let go of her hand and let her take her first steps into the world.  Yes it's only pre school, but it's the start of a long line of things to come.  It may only be an application form, but it's almost like signing a form saying that this first part of our lives and journey together are over.  Starting pre school is like starting another chapter- the chapter where she grows up that little bit more.

The days that we are each other's everything.  That I have to accept her growing up.

She may not look so little anymore.  

But she will always be my baby.

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A 'Big Girl' Room- A Room Tour.

on Monday, 22 April 2013.

We have finally completed Mads 'big girl' room.  It was started way back in November, but due to the fact that we had to wait an absolute age for the cot bed to be delivered, we have only just finished it now.  On Sunday she spent the day at my Dad's and we transformed our old study for her.  Her face was an actual picture when she came in, she was so excited and proceeded straight away to get in her new bed.

I thought I would do a little tour of her very first 'big girls' room.

We decided on a woodland theme.

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Above her bed we got a canvas made of my favourite photo of her, her 'flying' in the rape seed last summer.  On the wall next to her curtains are some home made owls, made very kindly for her by my mother in law.

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We kept the existing chair that was in our study so we could sit and read her a bedtime story and bought this owl cushion from Sass & Belle.  Next to it is 'Rabbit' who I was given on the day I was born and has been my most trusted companion ever since.  I love my little girl enough that I have entrusted her to look after him!

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We put up two floating white shelves to add bits and pieces.  These Ingela P Arrhenius owl nesting dolls were from The Kid Who and we bought the little toadstool night light from Not On The High Street.

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On the other shelf we have her photos of her in my tummy which we call her 'first ever photo.'  The little owl paper lantern was from her Auntie Paula.

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We chose a wardrobe from Next which had four inbuilt shelves, so we filled them with nick nacks.  These owls are from various different places, mainly again from her Auntie Paula.

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On the next shelf we bought a big toadstool from the Jools Oliver for Mothercare range, it is meant to be a doorstop but we thought it looked nice next to the very hungry caterpiller!

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Mads made this ceramic star dish herself on our last weekend as a three.  The Monday after baby LL arrived.

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Baby LL bought this for her big sister on the day she came to meet her in the hospital!

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We bought these little toadstool lights to hang from the end of her bed from Toyday.co.uk, they actually make the room very cosy when the lights are off and they are on.

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Mads is very lucky to go to her Auntie Paula's every week. Auntie Paula is one of my Mum's best friends and her Mum 'Nanny Ann' knitted this rather lovely owl for Mads.  He sits on the windowsill and oversees what's going on.

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This photo frame hangs by the door, we need to get a photo of LL in there too, although she was in my tummy in two of them.

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She has 'stars' covering her ceiling which glow in the dark and her paper lampshade is Farg & Form from Nubie.

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Mr E bought both our girls a 'special Daddy present' on the day they were born and he wrapped them up and bought them to the hospital.  They both have rabbits like Mummy had on the day she was born, although each of them has a different one.  Mads has a pink bunny who sits on her new big girl bed.  I like to think that one day they will know how special these presents are and how thoughtful their Dad is.

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The owl bedding and curtains are from Dunelm, I am not a massive fan of baby pink children's rooms so I was thrilled to find a set that weren't too girly but were still fun for a toddler.

 

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The wall sticker we have mentioned on this blog before, we kindly got it to review from Enchanted Interiors.

So there you have it.

A 'big girl' room for my biggest little girl, who is growing far too quickly.  Both myself and Mr E watched her playing yesterday in her new bed and exchanged glances at each other as she was jumping around in delight- I know what we were both thinking without having to say any words at all- our little girl is growing up fast!*

*NB- Not too fast however as she is not actually sleeping in her big girl room just yet- she still naps for three hours in the afternoon and sleeps twelve/thirteen hours a night- I am not risking that by putting her into a big girl bed until I possibly have too.  While LL is still in with us, she is staying in her nursery!

Remember...

on Monday, 14 May 2012.

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At school my reports always used to say I had an over active imagination, I used to sit at my desk and just dream.  I have always been a day dreamer, I love to be left alone with my thoughts- I could sit and think about my hopes, goals, fears and dreams for hours.
 
I also love to think about memories.  Isn't nostalgia an amazing thing?  And how even the smallest little thing can transport you back to a past memory?
 
How driving along a certain road makes me instantly think of my Daddy- it is really bumpy and he used to drive along it quickly because I liked it making my tummy 'do somersaults.'
 
How eating orange smarties reminds me of sitting on my Grandma's knee in the doctors surgery when I was three, being cuddled because I had fallen against a window and cut my head open.  
 
How hearing the song 'It must have been love' reminds me of being seventeen and having my heart broken for the first time.  Sitting against the radiator in my little sisters room with my Mum, crying my eyes out.  I can still feel her arms around me telling me the hurt would get better.
 
Or how the smell of Gucci Rush perfume insantly reminds me of one of my university friends?  Being transported back to my child free years, my four housemates and I drinking cheap wine, listening to our music really loud and getting ready for countless nights out.
 
And how hearing the song 'You're beautiful' by James Blunt reminds me of the summer I fell in love with my husband- the trips out, that exciting butterfly inducing feeling of getting to know someone inside and out.
 
 
I think thats why I love taking photos so much- I have literally boxes full of photos in my garage of my childhood and although there are some moments I don't remember, the majority I look at and get a feeling of nostalgia wash over me as I relive the memories.
 
I love how you can be doing something completely random when a memory pops in to your head- or how when you meet up with old friends you spend ages laughing about what you used to get up too.  Those happy moments that aren't life changing, but that make you better as a person.
 
The little moments that make you you.
 
The human mind is pretty incredible really- how we are capable of remembering the tiniest details or the smallest memories.  
 
I want to make sure that when Mads is my age, or when she is a Mummy herself, that she looks back on her childhood and smiles.  Like I do.  It may not always be happy but as long as we help her create memories that she will love to remember.  I want her to look back and say 'My Mummy did a great job.'  I want her to remember wonderful memories of laughter, cuddles and lots and lots of fun.
 
Who knows what her first memory will be but I want to make sure that it is one to cherish?
 
I want her to look back and say for the most part that growing up was great.  One day I want to sit with her and look at photo albums or reminisce about stories and say 'Ah do you remember when...?'
 
And we can look back and smile.
 
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